Mount Phou Si is a hill located in the center of the old town of Luang Prabang. It’s around 100 meters high and of utmost cultural importance. The hill hosts some Buddhist shrines and the famous Buddhist temple Wat Chom Si. It is one of the must-visit attractions in Luang Prabang. From the top of the hill, you can take beautiful pictures of the city.
How to get to Mount Phou Si?
The famous hill lies on the peninsula of the old town. It’s bordered by the Nam Khan River and the Mekong River. Since most accommodations are in the old town of Luang Prabang, you most likely will already be close to the attraction. Just look around for a sign or ask a local. There are two stairways leading to Mount Phou Si. Since each of them has over 300 stairs, accessibility might be an issue for people with mobility problems.
Opening times for Mount Phou Si
You can start climbing from 5:30 am every day until 6 pm, but sometimes the attraction is even open after sunset. Just ask if you’re unsure.
Story of Mount Phou Si
The sacred hill got its name from old Lao folk stories. According to one legend, it was once moved from Sri Lanka to Laos by the Monkey King Hanuman. According to another legend it was once the home of the powerful Naga. The Naga is one of the most important figures in Southeast Asian mythology.
Is it worth visiting the sacred hill?
As we already said, Mount Phou Si is a must-visit attraction. Not to mention that it doesn’t take much time anyway, the entrance fee is cheap, and it most likely will be close to your accommodation. So there’s absolutely no reason to miss it.
Entrance fee for Mount Phou Si
Like most cultural attractions in Luang Prabang, the entrance fee isn’t very high. You only have to pay 20.000 Kip. That’s just a bit more than a US Dollar. If you want you can also purchase bird cages to release them at the top of the mountain. This is done for good luck, but a bit controversial in terms of animal cruelty. The prices for the bird cages depend on your bargaining skills. Just don’t pay 100.000 Kip since that’s a bit too much.
Always act accordingly
Mount Phou Si is a sacred place and not just a tourist attraction. Therefore you should act accordingly. Always dress appropriately and behave respectfully. For example, it’s an absolute no-go to drink alcohol on top of the hill. So better enjoy your beer at one of the bars or restaurants.
What's the best time to visit Mount Phou Si?
The best time to visit the attractions depends on your personal preferences. If you’re willing to wake up early, you can experience it during the sunrise, but during the sunset, it’s also beautiful. The only downside to visiting for the sunrise or sunset is that you’ll most likely experience hordes of tourists. If that’s not an option, you better go in the afternoon.